Sorry, sorry, I know, awful pun! I couldn’t help myself I’m afraid. Spending a day helping my sister and her boyfriend move flat on the hottest day of the year so far in the UK has left me frazzled, but hopefully not so much that I’ll not be able to tell you a bit about Hungary as a wine producing nation.
Hungary was another of those countries that has a history of wine making going back as far as….well, far, put it that way. The Romans, going back 2000 years here, were big into their wine and really progressed the vineyards planted across Hungary. This just kept on going really. For many years in the early modern period the famous Tokaji came to prominence on the tables of the all the aristocracy across Europe, and was the first wine to be classified and legally protected in the world.
Apologies to any of you of a far left persuasion, but once again it’s another story of industry decline under the communist regime in the second half of the 20th century. Since then though grants and investment have flooded back in and the reputation is flooding back with it!
Most of the vineyards are over in the west of the country. There’s a massive lake there called Lake Balaton which gives a bit of a sobering effect on what would otherwise be really harsh weather, ultra cold in the winter and silly hot in the summer. Famous regions include Tokaji, where the sweet wines are produced, and Eger (to the east), the source of the famous Bull’s Blood red blends they do.
The grapes grown across Hungary are a mix of natives, Central European favourites, and international varieties. The reds include Kekfrankos and Zweigelt, and the whites include Sárga Muscotály (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains), Pinot Gris, and this week’s New Wine This Week; Furmint.
Other posts in NWTW Week 19